LA County Fair: It’s Fair Time! Fair, Food, & Fun! + Ticket Giveaway

LA County Fair: It’s Fair Time! Fair, Food, & Fun! + Ticket Giveaway

By: Erin

Disclosure: I was invited out to the Media Food Preview Night at the LA County Fair and I was provided with a 4 pack of tickets with a parking pass to the LA County Fair. All opinions are my own and I’ve been going to this fair for as long as I can remember. 😉

It’s that time of year again folks, and you know what that means! It’s time for the LA County Fair. All the rides, games, shows, concerts,  new animal exhibits and of course one of the main attractions, the FOOD!! Every year, the food is a huge draw at the fair, and as usual will not disappoint .  You will see the oh so familiar fried food fare from longtime fair favorites such as Chicken Charlie’s, but the fair does have some Gluten-Free options, one of my personal favorites; Terri’s Berries and then there is the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Marketplace. The Fair started last Friday, August 30th and will run through September 29th. This past Wednesday I was invited out to a food preview for a sneak peek of what’s in store for this year’s UN-LEASH Your Inner Fair at the LA County Fair!

This year the fair has been turned into “Calitopia,” where you can keep cool with underwater and animal adventures like those found in San Diego, animation workshops and Enterprise exhibits from Hollywood as well as wine tasting experiences straight from Napa Valley.


NOW! Onto the Food and Giveaway that you are probably here for. 😉 You can find these food vendors while out and about at the fair this year as well as many others.

The FOOD!!

1. Chicken Charlie’s

Chicken CharliesHow about we start out with some deep fried fair food fun? Be the first to try out the new Krispy Kreme Hamburger ($9.95), the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joes ($7.75), Totally Fried Bacon Wrapped Pickles ($6.75), Waffle Dogs, and if you want something on the lighter side, they do have chicken kabobs. Don’t forget dessert! They also have the Totally Fried Twinkie that you can get with either chocolate or strawberry sauce drizzled on top.

Chicken CharlieChicken Charlie himself was there, so I just had to stop and get a picture taken with this famous fair icon. 🙂

LACountyFAIRMy favorites would have to be the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe and the Bacon wrapped pickles! Yum!

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The Adventures of Planning a Wine Tasting Trip!

 The Adventures of Planning a Wine Tasting Trip!

By Erin

Wine anyone? 😉

How about a quick get away to wine country with about 25 of your closest girlfriends?

Then join me on the adventures of planning a wine tasting trip!

1. If an offer looks *TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE* It probably is.

I found an offer on one of those discount type sites (think Groupon/LivingSocial). Once it was purchased I quickly called up the company to make our reservation, done and done! Then it was off to decide which wineries we wanted to go to, so I could call this company back and give them our desired itinerary for the day we had chosen to go on.

THAT’S when I started to see all these red flags go off in my head about this limo company…


I found this wonderful and informative website called the Temecula Valley Wine Country  (Temecula is in Southern California, google for the website, I had to remove the link for the time being here as they were having issues with their website), which has a list of all the fabulous wineries in the area, their websites, and all the information you could ever need about them when planning a trip! On that site there is also a tab titled “Plan Your Trip” and has a listing of Transportation Partners in their Responsible Partnership Program. Registration is recommended for ALL transportation companies. Reservations are highly recommended for all transportation companies prior to bringing any guests to any of the wineries in the Temecula Valley. Needless to say, I did NOT see this company listed as an approved company on their very LONG list of transportation companies that had been approved. They did have a registration form that could be filled out and the company in question could easily register…. that is if they were a legit company running business legally…

Upon further investigation I found ANOTHER important website that you will want to BOOKMARK and save for future reference in case you ever want to rent a limo, party bus, or any other form of transportation (or for a Moving Company as well!) I found the California Public Utilities Commission page. You can look up a company in California and find out what their TCP# (Carrier ID) is, and what their status is! Turns out the company in question had their Carrier Permit REVOKED back in April of 2010…. which would explain WHY it wasn’t listed on any of their other websites. Not only that, but when I asked the company what their TCP# was, they had given me a DIFFERENT companies TCP# which was valid, but was a totally different company.

Needles to say, I canceled our reservation ASAP and quickly got a FULL REFUND from this discount website.

3. Ask around for references from people you know and trust.

Back to the drawing board for a company to work with that was legit. It didn’t take long for me to figure something out. Earlier that year my mother had gone on a limo trip with some friends up to Hollywood as someone’s son had a limo company in Long Beach so they had gotten a SUPER deal on a limo. I found out the needed contact info for this wonderful company, which you can find here at Limo 4 Me. If you click on that link and scroll to the bottom of that page, you can check out the party bus we traveled on, which is called Pirates of the Carribean! All of their info checked out and were a complete joy to work with! I hope to be able to plan another fun trip with them soon!

4. Make RESERVATIONS at the wineries! If you come in a limo or Party Bus, you WILL need one!

Okay, so now we are really ready to ROCK N’ ROLL! I found a couple of wineries we could make reservations for our group that did not require a deposit on the wine tasting (since I could not afford to put a deposit down or pay in full for 25 GIRLS up front for wine tasting), I was already taking a risk by putting a down payment on our party bus, not knowing if I’d be able to have 25 girls willing to pay for the Party Bus. Which, without a doubt this will be the MOST stressful part of planning your Wine Tasting Trip by far. Collecting the funds from your friends that are going on this trip with you as some will  be more timely than others. Or you just might not end up having enough people wanting to go, then you’ll end up having to pay more than your fair share for the limo. Luckily the later part did not happen to us. We had enough girls going, it was just a matter of rounding up the funds from everyone. Which isn’t something I exactly enjoy doing.

This was in September and our Wine Tasting Adventure was set for Saturday, November 5th, 2011. I had plenty of time to gather up all my wine loving friends and some of their friends.

Being the extremely detail oriented person I am, went so far as to plan a nice breakfast for our group so that everyone could mingle and enjoy some food and drinks before while we waited for everyone to arrive and for our party bus to get here. Our bus was leaving at 9:30am sharp, so I also wanted to make sure everyone had something in their stomachs before we started drinking any wine around 11am! 😉


Limo Party Bus

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Dole Floats in the 2013 Rose Parade

Dole Floats in the 2013 Rose Parade

By Erin

Earlier this month, my friend Jamie from Minnesota Girl In LA invited me out with her to go check out the Dole Floats that were in the making for the 2013 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. The Rose Parade has always been something I have looked forward to watching every January 1st, so of course I had to jump at this amazing opportunity. The theme of this years parade is “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Being a Dr. Seuss fan, I LOVE the theme they have going on for this year!! Here was the schedule of events for the day:

The floats are located at Fiesta Floats in Irwindale and while there we also were able to meet the designer Raul Rodriguez, have some delicious food, and just relax and enjoy the festive environment while trying out some Dole products. The theme of this years float is “Dreaming of Paradise.”  That sure is a place I’d love to go! 😉

As the two-time reigning Sweepstakes award winner, DOLE is vying to become the only company to win the Sweepstakes award every year they have entered.  They are striving for a three-peat! I have every faith that they will be able to accomplish this. The float is breath-taking to say the least!

The Queen and her Royal court were also present, and of course, us SoCal Lady Bloggers had to get a picture together! (Jen from Toddler Trails, Jill from Sandy Toes and Popsicles, Myself, Jamie from Minnesota Girl In LA and Mary from Lets Play OC!)

We also just had to get a picture with the designer:

Jamie, Raul, and Myself

Here’s a little more information about Dole’s float for the parade! The float will feature a 26-foot massive volcano which will erupt with smoke, steam and fire shooting 20 feet into the sky over a vibrant and lush tropical rain forest of Latin America teaming with prowling tigers, fluttering butterflies, chimpanzees, parrots, and dragonflies. Incredible parrots are going to be fashioned in floral feathers of blue iris, red poinsettia, carnations and Pee Wee anthuriums accented with Kermit button mums. Lava of 8,000 vivid fluorescent orange roses majestically will flow over the volcano surface decorated in black lichen moss. Three waterfalls feature over 1,000 gallons of cascading recycled water as well as a misting system  to add to the tropical mood. Throughout the float are fresh and healthy fruits, including bananas, pineapples, mangoes, papayas, peaches, strawberries and blueberries that were grown by DOLE just for this use on the float. Traditional Costa Rican folk music will be played with performers dancing on the street on both sides of the float. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a marvelous tropical paradise!

 The playful chimpanzees have fur fashioned in dehydrated cranberry foliage with highlights of pampas and pharmitas grass.

Just look at the amazing detail of the butterflies on this float! Orange marigold and yellow strawflower petals are detailed with black onion seed and white sweet rice.

Let me show you some of the oh so delectable treats that DOLE has available now. We had a little taste of paradise with these yummy (and healthy) treats!  The new frozen DOLE Smoothie Shaker is a paradise for your taste buds (I tried the Peach-Mango flavor).  No blender required!!  You can create a perfect frozen smoothie with real yogurt and fruit just by shaking the DOLE Peach Mango Smoothie Shaker with juice for 30 seconds and enjoy! Made with all natural fruit and real yogurt, DOLE Shakers are a good source of calcium and are nutritionally fortified with an extra boost of protein, each 11 oz serving is under 200 calories.

Another treat that you and especially those with kids will think is a little bit of snacking paradise is the new Squishems!  A squeezable fruit snack that kids will love to squish!  Squish’ems! is real fruit sauce in a great squeezable pouch with a fun resealable cap. No need for a spoon, just pop the cap, squeeze and enjoy!  Each Squish’ems! pouch contains 1 full serving of fruit that is made locally in the US with all natural fruit, has only 70 calories and contains 100% daily value of vitamin C.

We also sampled Trio Granola Bars filled with tasty and nutritious fruits and nuts.  My absolute favorite though, was the Dole Dippers!!  Small bites of frozen bananas covered in dark chocolate, a true taste of paradise for your senses. At only 100 calories a serving, that truly is paradise! I was enjoying these snacks so much, they were demolished before I was able to get a picture of them! Oppps!! 😉

I just had to include  a couple of pictures of the yummy food that we graciously were able to indulge in for lunch! They had a food truck that featured Central American Inspired Tapas called VCHOS. It tasted just as good as it looks! I will definitely be coming back for more. The fried plantains and tacos were a piece of heaven, very fresh and flavorful.

Of course you can never go wrong with In-N-Out!! I just had to have a burger as well, even though I was stuffed from the VCHOS truck and the DOLE samples!

Decorating of the Dole float has resumed this weekend and will be adorned with fresh roses for us to enjoy.  I cannot wait until Tuesday morning to see the finished product, and will be looking forward to heading up to Pasadena after the parade to view the floats (another New Year’s tradition that I have enjoyed ever since I was a little girl). Enjoy and Happy New Year 2013!!!